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The Next Generation Of The In-Store Experience

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Best-in-class retailers are utilizing digital technologies to boost interactivity, education and conversion inside the four walls of the store. During a recent session from the Connected Consumer Series, retail industry experts gathered to share their insights on the must-have tools and strategies to bring brick-and-mortar stores to more innovative heights. 

Titled: Bringing The Benefits Of The Online Experience Into The Store, the presentation offered in-depth insights into how retailers can leverage smartphones, kiosks, tablets and other digital tools to keep pace with consumers’ expectations of the in-store experience. Speakers also offered best practices and detailed strategies regarding how retailers can revamp store locations to create seamless brand experiences.

Speakers included: Christopher Krywulak, CEO of iQmetrix; Kris Parker, Director of Marketing and Brand for Jump.ca; and Tate Fisher, Chief Creative Officer at Katalyst Group.

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Krywulak shared research from Google, revealing that 89% of consumers use their smartphone throughout the day. Additionally, consumers admitted to using their mobile devices while waiting in line (59%), eating (48%) and shopping (44%). Although the growing proliferation of smartphones has led to the growth of “showrooming,” Krywulak reaffirmed that this cross-channel shopping tactic doesn’t occur often.

“We’ve certainly seen a rise in showrooming shopping strategies,” Kyrwulak said. “However, retailers should keep in mind that these price-sensitive shoppers only make up a small percentage of the overall population.”

By implementing interactive retail, merchants can create a fun and compelling environment to drive traffic and conversions, Krywulak explained. Additionally, the utilization of digital tools in the brick-and-mortar environment drives education and engagement among consumers and employees, creating a platform to display promotions, campaigns and recommended items. As a result, shoppers can move across the browsing and buying lifecycle more efficiently.

During his presentation, Parker offered a detailed walk-through of Jump.ca’s goals in adopting iQmetrix’s solution suite for more engaging brick-and-mortar experiences. A reseller of wireless and telecommunications products and services, Jump.ca revamped its flagship store to exceed its competition.

Fisher — who closed out the webinar — offered a checklist of four principles that help create memorable and compelling store designs. These principles are as follows:

  1. Intentional: Retailers should showcase products, services and other offerings in an efficient manner.
  2. Consistent:  Signage, in-store technology and overall layout should match a retailer’s overall brand mission and culture.
  3. User friendly: Customers should have access to technology and other in-store resources that are easy to navigate throughout the browsing and buying journey.
  4. Flexible: Stores should be modular and easy to alter based on shifts in design trends and technologies.

The final presentation from the Connected Consumer Series will take place Thursday, June 21, 2012. The presentation, titled: Transforming The Workforce From An Expense To A Competitive Advantage, will feature Scott Knaul, VP of Strategic Services for Workforce Insight and Liz Moughan, Director of the Retail and Hospitality Group at Kronos.

Click here to access on-demand versions of all completed webinars from the Connected Consumer Series.

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